This is an Olive Garden copycat recipe for air fryer five-cheese lasagna fritta. It’s fried lasagna filled with creamy ricotta cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago cheese spread in between rolled lasagna noodles that are then dipped in batter and fried golden crispy.
What are lasagna frittas?
Lasagna fritta is known for its rich, crispy perfection on the outside and the familiar flavors of traditional lasagna on the inside. It’s a popular appetizer in Italian-American cuisine and is often served at Italian-themed restaurants. The combination of crispy fried exterior and cheesy layers of lasagna noodles inside makes it a delicious and indulgent treat for those who enjoy Italian comfort food.
In simpler terms, lasagna frittas are fried lasagna. It takes a lasagna noodle that’s filled with five cheeses, rolled, battered, and fried until golden crispy.
It’s so delicious! These are one of my favorite Olive Garden copycat recipes and it also happens to be one of my top recipes on here because they’re just that good!
This version of lasagna fritta is a tad larger than the appetizer version Olive Garden serves.
The noodles you buy from the grocery store are just a wee bit bigger, but I guess that means more lasagna fritta, right? Yum!
I decided to do this air fryer style because we don’t need to add more grease on top of a carb-loaded appetizer.
Although, deep fried lasagna is super, super tasty which is why I give both recipes here.
I thought it was going to be difficult to make a copycat Olive Garden fried lasagna, but it was actually pretty simple.
Ingredients for Air Fryer Lasagna Fritta
- Lasagna Noodles
- Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
- Parmesan Cheese
- Romano Cheese
- Asiago Cheese
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Italian Seasoning
- Large Eggs (for both the filling and the batter)
- Finely Grated Parmesan
- Italian Bread crumbs
- Oil Cooking Spray – for the air fryer cooking version
- Canola/Vegetable Oil – for the pan-fried version
- Jar of Marinara Sauce, for serving
Ingredients for Alfredo Sauce
- Grated Parmesan
- Heavy Cream
- Garlic Salt
- Parsley, for topping
Optional – Try the Alfredo sauce with extra cheese leftover from the lasagna frittas!
- ½ cup Grated Romano
- ½ cup Grated Asiago
Toss it into the Alfredo sauce when you add the Parmesan. It adds extra cheese flavor for those cheese lovers!
Is air-fried food healthy?
Air-fried food is healthier than deep-fat frying foods in oil.
The food becomes saturated in oil as it cooks, whereas with an air fryer a minimal amount (typically 1-2 tablespoons) of oil is added to breadcrumbs or the food is lightly brushed with oil or butter.
What fries the bread crumbs in an air fryer?
If you leave the bread crumbs without ANY type of grease or fat it will leave them very dry.
The nice thing with an air fryer is that you can cut out the majority of the oil and fat and have a slightly healthier version of cooking than if you deep-fried the food.
Typically, I use an oil cooking spray to add oil to the food I’m air frying. Sometimes, I’ll notice the food looks dry rather than getting a nice golden brown. Then I know I need to spray a little more cooking oil.
There are two ways to air fry bread crumbs:
- Spray the breadcrumb coating that is already on your food with cooking spray or oil.
- Heat a small amount of olive oil with the bread crumbs prior to coating your food with it. Microwave it for 30 seconds at a time until it begins to lightly brown. Then add the batter to your uncooked food before air frying.
How to Make Air Fryer Five-Cheese Lasagna Fritta
- It all begins by boiling your noodles according to the box directions until al dente. They need to be soft to handle and roll up.
- Most regular lasagna noodles have ribbons and it’s best to cut the ribbon edges off. They do not roll well or stay together with the bumpy ribbon edge. Trim each noodle of the ribbon edges with scissors or a knife.
- Mix together ricotta, Parmesan, Romano, Asiago, mozzarella, Italian seasoning, and eggs in a large bowl. Spoon the cheese mixture evenly on top of lasagna noodles.
- Roll each noodle. I tend to keep them more of a flat roll-up in a rectangular shape rather than a round roll-up so they are similar to Olive Garden’s and easier to cook.
- These are of course larger than Olive Garden’s lasagna frittas, but you can, of course, cut the noodles in half length-wise to try to aim for the size of the appetizer.
- Continue below for the air fryer and pan-frying cooking methods.
Air Fryer Method
- For the air fryer cooking method, it is best to freeze them. They tend to be messy once you begin dipping them in egg wash and bread crumbs.
- Once they are frozen (in about 1-2 hours) you can immediately start dipping them in the egg wash, and then dip them in the bread crumb/Parmesan coating.
- You still need to add some form of oil/butter to the bread crumbs. I used the method mentioned above – microwaving olive oil with the bread crumbs. But you can also spray them with cooking oil.
- They are cooked at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for a total of about 16 minutes, flipping halfway.
- To check for doneness, open the air fryer tray and peek in on them to see if they are golden brown.
- For the pan-fried cooking method, you will also need to freeze them.
- Freezing them for 1-2 hours before they are battered with bread crumbs keeps the cheesy inside the lasagna rolls. It’s also important to freeze them before pan-frying because the cheese will immediately come out in the oil as well.
- After they are frozen, it is time to batter them. First, dip them in the egg wash, and then dip them in the bread crumb/Parmesan cheese coating.
- For pan-frying, put enough oil in the pan to cover the tops of them like a deep-fry and heat it over medium-high heat. Flip them halfway (2 minutes on each side) for even cooking.
- Place them on a plate with a paper towel.
For serving, place a layer of marinara sauce (or use a seasoned tomato sauce) on the plate.
Then place the lasagna frittas on top of the sauce and drizzle Alfredo sauce over top.
I always have extra Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago cheese from the lasagna frittas. I put the cheese (about a cup and a half) into the sauce pan of Alfredo sauce. It’s a really delicious sauce with the extra cheese and I like to do it every time now.
There are a few different variations that can made with this recipe. With each of these, keep in mind to finely chop anything that is added to the filling. Otherwise, you will have lumpy, uneven roll-ups and they may also have filling spill out of the sides.
Spinach Artichoke Add chopped spinach and artichoke to the cheese mixture to add a nutrient-dense vegetable and texture to the lasagna frittas.
Meat Lasagna Fritta Add ground beef or ground Italian sausage to the cheese mixture for protein. Be sure to finely ground the meat into smaller pieces for filling.
Seafood Lasagna Fritta Include finely chopped seafood like shrimp, crab, or lobster along with the filling for a seafood lover’s delight.
Caprese Lasagna Fritta Incorporate the classic Caprese salad ingredients – mozzarella, fresh basil, and finely chopped ripe tomatoes – for a fresh and summery variation.
- Allow the lasagna frittas to cool to room temperature before refrigerating them. This helps prevent condensation, which can make them soggy.
- Place the cooled lasagna frittas in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Allow the cooked lasagna frittas to cool completely to room temperature. It’s important to start with fully cooled frittas to prevent condensation and maintain their texture when freezing.
- Wrap each portion tightly in plastic wrap to minimize exposure to air and moisture. Place the wrapped portions in an airtight container or resealable freezer bag.
- When stored properly in the freezer, lasagna frittas can remain good for about 2-3 months.
- To thaw, take out of the freezer the night before it is needed and place it in the refrigerator overnight.
Reheating Lasagna Frittas
To reheat lasagna frittas, use an air fryer, oven, or toaster oven to help restore their crispiness. Avoid using the microwave, as it can make them soggy.
- Reheating lasagna frittas typically doesn’t take very long in an air fryer.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and cook for 3-5 minutes, flipping halfway.
- Keep a close eye on them and check their crispiness after a few minutes.
- Preheat the oven to around 375°F and place the frittas on a baking sheet. Reheat for 7-8 minutes until they are hot and crispy again and the center is heated through.
- Preheat your toaster oven to around 375°F and cook for 6-8 minutes until they are crispy on the outside and warm through the center.
Easy Favorite Olive Garden Recipes
- Air Fryer Stuffed Ziti Fritta
- Fettuccine Alfredo Sauce
- Five-Cheese Fonduta Dip
- Olive Garden Lasagna Classico Recipe
- Olive Garden Dressing Chicken Kabobs
- Pasta e Fagioli Soup
Air Fryer Lasagna Fritta (Olive Garden Copycat Recipe)
- 10 ounces Lasagna Noodles, About 10 noodles
- 15 ounces Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
- ½ cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
- ½ cup Freshly Grated Romano Cheese
- ½ cup Freshly Grated Asiago Cheese
- ½ cup Freshly Grated Mozzarella Cheese
- 2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 ½ cups Italian Bread Crumbs or Panko
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- ½ cup Finely Grated Parmesan
- 2 Large Eggs
Air Fryer Cooking Method
- Olive Oil Spray
Pan-Fried Cooking Method
- Canola Oil
- Homemade Alfredo Sauce, If you have leftover Parmesan, Romano, or Asiago cheese it is perfect to throw in this recipe.
- Jar of Marinara Sauce
- Boil lasagna noodles according to package directions until al dente. Once cooked, place in a colander and rinse with cold water for handling. If your lasagna noodles have ribbon edges, trim the ribbons off the sides.
- In a medium-sized bowl mix together egg, all five kinds of cheese, and Italian seasoning.
- Lay lasagna noodles flat. Spread cheese mixture over top of the noodles. Roll the noodles into about a 2-3" length.
- Place them in a container lined with parchment or wax paper to prevent sticking together and freeze for 1-2 hours.
- Scramble egg in a shallow dish. In a microwave-safe dish, blend 2 tablespoons of olive oil and bread crumbs. Microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until they begin to turn golden brown. Let cool and add Parmesan cheese.
- One by one, dip each rolled lasagna in egg, followed by breadcrumbs. Shake off any excess between steps.
Air Fryer Cooking Method
- Spray the inside basket of the air fryer with oil and place lasagna frittas in the basket. Lightly spray the top of the lasagna frittas with oil as well.
- Set air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for 8 minutes, flip, and cook for another 6-8 minutes until golden brown and crispy. If they look dry as they cook, lightly spray with cooking oil. Remove from basket and serve with marinara and/or Alfredo sauce.
Pan-Fried Cooking Method
- Heat canola oil in a pan at a medium-high temperature. Carefully place the lasagna frittas in the pan once it is hot. Cook for about 2 minutes, flip, and fry for 2 more minutes until they are golden brown. Remove and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Serve with marinara and/or alfredo sauce.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn referral fees from products I love and recommend at no extra cost to you.